Our Tush, More Than Just a Cushy Seat
We are aware of our rear end muscles for the cushy seat they provide when sitting. However, prolonged sitting can lead to a loss of muscle tone and strength. This leads to a variety of changes in our functional daily lives. It is important to keep them strong and toned to avoid potential injury.
The gluteal muscle group are the largest and most important of the buttock muscles in terms of function. Gluteus Maximus is the largest of the group and provides us with a cushioned seat. However, its muscle action is far more important. As the primary hip extensor (lifting your leg behind you), Gluteus Maximus is important for climbing stairs, standing in one position, getting up from sitting, and maintaining an erect posture.
Gluteus Medius is the midsize muscle of the group and is the primary stabilizer of the pelvis standing when the opposite leg is lifted off the ground, abducting the hip (lifting the leg to the side), and outwardly rotating it to enable a steady gait.
Gluteus Minimis is the smallest of the three but still equally important. Combined with the Gluteus Medius, the Gluteus Minimis activates to support our body on one leg. Due to the Minimis’s attachment to the upper aspect of the capsule of the hip, it can move the capsule away from the joint reducing the risk of capsular impingement of the hip.
Regular exercise and reduction in time spent sitting can increase the gluteal muscle strength and tone, thus providing reduced risk in injury, better functional activities ,and a cushier seat.